What is Tryptophan?

What is Tryptophan and where i can find it?
• Answer: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, formed from proteins during digestion by the action of proteolytic enzymes.

• It is necessary for normal growth and development and is the precursor of several substances, including serotonin and niacin, but over count can be harmful in some cases.

• We can find it in: oats, dried dates, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, peanuts etc.

• It can be helpful for restless legs. If you wake up during the night with restless legs and can’t return to sleep, take some tryptophan capsules. You should be able to obtain tryptophan from a compounding pharmacist.

• Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression. Foods containing sufficient amounts of tryptophan such as black-eyed peas, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, and tofu are needed as raw materials for the body to use in making serotonin.

• Other nutrients that are believed to be helpful in Parkinson’s disease include niacin, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and essential fatty acids taken as a supplement.

• But cheese contains much of the amino acid tryptophan, which causes after-meal drowsiness and inability to concentrate.

• For asthma: Tryptophan constricts bronchi, the gastrointestinal tract, and blood vessels, and worsens asthma

• For convulsion: The following supplements and herbs have been found to be helpful for some cases.

- Vitamin B6 – 50 milligrams, every day
l000 mg tryptophan 2 hrs before, and again about five minutes before bedtime.
l000 mg taurine taken between the two doses of tryptophan.
- If an approaching seizure is suspected, the tryptophan dose can also be given on arising, and before lunch. Food sources of tryptophan to be emphasized in the diet are: pumpkin seeds, almonds, collards. Bear in mind that almonds may promote seizures in certain susceptible persons, and should be given only if they have been determined by testing not to be a cause of seizures. Test them by omitting them from the diet for two months. Then reintroduce them into the diet and see if a seizure is caused.

• For arthritis: Devise a low tryptophan diet. Foods high in tryptophan are: wheat, most nuts, and all animal products. Corn, popcorn, and fruits are lowest.

• L-Tryptophan: A case of depression treated with pumpkin seeds was reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1990. One and one half grams of L-tryptophan per day can often abolish depression. Pumpkin seed, a good source of natural L-tryptophan, may help those where depression is controlled by this treatment. About 3/4 cup of pumpkin seed will contain about one gram of L-tryptophan.—British Journal of Psychiatry 157:937-938, December 1990

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